10/24/2017 6:57PM

Fasig-Tipton October: Violence colt fetches half-million as figures improve

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The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale showed more spark during its second day, showing improvement from the opening session and finishing ahead of the comparable session of last year’s sale. A colt by Violence led the day at $500,000, becoming the most expensive horse sold at the auction since 2013.

Tuesday’s session saw 237 yearlings sold for revenues of $8,415,000, up 17 percent from last year’s second day of trade when 251 horses changed hands for $7,162,700. The average sale price rose 24 percent to $35,506 from $28,537, the median jumped 20 percent to $12,000 from $10,000, and the buyback rate landed at 25 percent compared with 27 percent during the comparable session.

“I don’t think there’s any real surprises in the marketplace,” Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said. “If a really nice horse walks through there, every bidspotter is bidding because there’s people that really desire that horse. That’s what we’ve seen this year, and those trends are continuing in the last yearling sale of the year, as we saw in the first yearling sale of the year.

“It’s still not easy to sell a horse with flaws, whether it be pedigree, conformation, or vetting,” Browning continued, “but when you line them up and you meet all the requirements, you’re going to exceed expectations as far as the sale prices you achieve.”

In an interesting twist, Tuesday’s returns closely resembled last year’s opening session, while this year’s kickoff day of trade was similar to the second session of 2016. The October sale is an open auction arranged alphabetically from beginning to end by the names of the yearlings’ dams, meaning there is no man-made catalog placement to dictate the quality that goes through the ring each day.

Case in point, the opening session of last year’s sale saw an average price of $33,766, and a median of $12,750, while the second day dipped to a $28,537 average and $10,000 median. This year’s first session posted an average of $18,172 and a median of $10,000.

“There seemed to be a little more energy today, probably a result of better horses, and the way the horses fall,” Browning said. “I had dinner with some folks last night who said Monday was the shortest day on their shortlist. Hopefully each day gets longer.”

Eight horses sold for $200,000 or more on Tuesday, doubling the four to do so during last year’s second session. The number of six-figure purchases grew to 26 from 18, while horses sold for $50,000 or more rose to 48 from 47.

John Oxley bought the session topper, a Violence colt, for $500,000. Trainer Mark Casse signed the ticket.

The chestnut colt is the second foal out of the Grade 3-placed Cuvee mare Witch's Coven, whose first foal is a winner. He is from the family of stakes winners Native Satan, Up Pops the Devil, Code Satan, and Ivars Big Peaceful, among others. 

"I've never seen so many bids from so many places,” Casse said, noting the colt’s popularity in the ring. “It was amazing. There were a lot of people wanting him. I often say it's fun buying those expensive ones, it's not so much fun when you have to run them. Hopefully it works out well." 

The partnership of Gold Medal Stable and Dennis Mitchell bred the colt in Ontario, where Casse is a perennial leading trainer.

Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned the colt as agent, and bought him as a yearling for $180,000 at last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale. He was offered at this year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, but finished under his reserve with a final bid of $270,000. He is the first foal out of Witch's Coven to sell at public auction.

"The colt had been awesome, but he didn't take the ship well [to Saratoga] and kind of fell apart a little bit, so we just decided to bring him home and just give him time, and he really came around and showed well here,” said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency. "Violence has done nothing but improve his reputation since August anyway, so it really was fortuitous that we didn't get him sold. He almost got there at Saratoga, and it was lucky that he didn't.”

The Violence colt was the most expensive horse sold at the Fasig-Tipton October sale since 2013, when a Smart Strike filly sold to Borges Torrealba Holdings for $800,000 and Conquest Stables bought a Distorted Humor colt for $500,000.

For complete sale results, click here.